Jiri Mikulecky – Memorial Plaque unveiled



On 9 June 2018, a memorial plaque was unveiled at Sloupnice for F/Lt Jiří Mikulecký 312 Sqn pilot who was born in the village.

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The plaque was unveiled by Mr Josef Škeřík, Mayor of the village and Mrs Jan Stott, daughter of Jiří Mikulecký with the national anthem sung by children from the local school.

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Jiří Mikulecký was born on 16 September 1918 at Horní Sloupnice near Ústí nad Orlicí, Czechoslovakia.

Before WW2 served as a pre-war Czechoslovak Air Force pilot with the 12th Flight of the 3rd Air Regiment.

After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, the Czechoslovak military was disbanded with all its personnel released from their military service. Many of them, however, planned to escape to Poland from where they would join Czechoslovak military units so that they could fight for the liberation of their homeland. In Jiří’s case, he managed to escape on 25 August, just before the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939.

Initially, the Czechoslovak escapers in Poland, traveled east to avoid capture by the Germans, but when, on 17 September 1939, the Soviets invaded Poland from the East, they were captured. For Jiří this meant that his next two years were spent in 14 different Soviet camps and prisons. Following the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, the Soviets released their Czechoslovak military prisoners so that they could fight for them. For Jiří this meant a short period in the Soviet Air Force until early 1942 when negotiations took place between the British and the Soviets so that these Czechoslovaks could be released from their Soviet deployment and brought to Britain to join Czechoslovak forces there. Under the command of G/Cpt Josef Berounský, a group of Czechoslovak airmen traveled to Murmansk where on 28 April 1942, they boarded the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Edinburgh and set sail for Britain. Two days later, in the Barents Sea, HMS Edinburgh was sunk by a German submarine. Jiří was amongst those rescued by a Royal Navy minesweeper and returned to Murmansk.

On 13 May 1942, with six other Czechoslovak airmen, Jiří set sail aboard another Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Trinidad for the voyage to Britain. Two days later, following attacks by twenty Luftwaffe Ju 88’s the HMS Trinidad was badly damaged and had to be scuttled. Jiří along with fellow Czechoslovak airmen Jan Šťastný and Jaroslav Hlađo, were rescued by an escorting Royal Navy destroyer and taken to Iceland and then onto Britain.

Here, Jiří joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, from where he was sent to Canada for pilot training. On completion of that training in the Spring of 1944, he returned to Britain and that July posted to 312 (Czechoslovak) Sqn RAF as a fighter pilot.

When the war ended, Jiří returned to Czechoslovakia on 13 August 1945 and remained in the Czechoslovak Air Force. He was posted to České Budějovice where he was Commanding Officer of the 4th Air Regiment, a post he held until the Communist putsch of 15 Feb 1948. Following that putsch, he was dismissed from the Czechoslovak Air Force.

On the night of 18 May 1948, With his English wife Sheila, and former RAF colleagues Vladimír Soukup, Jaroslav Šodek, Václav Ruprecht and Vladimír Kopeček, they ‘borrowed‘ a Siebel 204 OK-ZDJ aircraft from České Budějovice airbase. Initially, they landed at a US airbase, in the American Zone of Germany, only to be arrested, detained and then ordered to return to Czechoslovakia. The former RAF airmen remonstrated to the American airbase Commanding Officer “we protected your boys when flying with the RAF!”. Their aircraft was refueled and they were ordered by American Commanding Officer to return to Czechoslovakia. but who then added he had complied with his own order by ordering them to return, however having taken-off if they chose to fly East or West was up to them. The Czechoslovak airmen took-off and they flew to England, landing at Manston, Kent.

Jiří changed his name to George John Desmond and rejoined the RAF. He retrained to fly jet fighter aircraft and was posted to Malaya where he flew in the conflict there. In September 1956, he was mentioned in Despatches for his gallant and distinguished service during that Malaysian campaign.

Due to an injury he received while serving in Singapore, he was unable to continue flying and he declined a non-flying role within the RAF. Instead, he returned to the UK, left the RAF and re-trained as a school teacher, an occupation he spent the next 18 years before retiring.

He died 11 January 2007, aged 88, at Bath, UK.




Posted in 312 Sqd, Biography, Ceremony, Into exile, Memorial, Not Forgotton, Poland, Russia, Victim of Communism | Leave a comment

RAF Museum – Police – Fund raising


Projekt pro financování muzea RAF. Podívejte se na odkaz a rozšlete to všem příznivcům a známým. Každý může přispět podle svých možností.

A project for financing the expansion of the Czechoslovak RAF Museum, at Police. Check this donation link and please share it with all your fans and acquaintances. Everyone can contribute according to their budget.

Děkujeme předem za spolupráci ve prospěch nás všech.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation for the benefit of all of us.





Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Museum | Leave a comment

Jindrich Holzhauser – Memorial plaque


A memorial plaque has been unveiled, at Tehov, for Jindřich Holzhauser, 310 Sqn pilot.




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Air Cafe Brno



For Czechoslovak RAF airmen relatives and enthusiasts, a key location to visit when in Brno is the Air Café.

Pro všechny příbuzné letců RAF a také jejich sympatizanty, kteří navštíví město Brno, je nemyslitelné, že by nenavštívili jejich kultovní místo – kavárnu Air Café.

Air Café origins go back to 1999 when brothers Albert and Adam Kronek began to develop their seemingly simple idea of combining the atmospheric environments of gastronomy and honouring the Czechoslovak airmen, who fought in the RAF during WW 2 in Great Britain in one establishment. The walls are decorated with numerous photographs of the airmen, posters, aviation artifacts and the glass display cabinets show many of their personal belongings which all have various connections to the four Czechoslovak RAF squadrons.

Vznik Air Café se váže k roku 1999, kdy bratři Albert a Adam Kronkovi spolu začali realizovat svoji zdánlivě prostou myšlenku – vytvořit gastronomický stánek, jehož prostředí a atmosféra by byly současně důstojným uctěním památky československých letců, kteří bojovali ve službách RAF během 2. svět. války ve Velké Britanii. Stěny interiéru jsou tak pokryty četnými dobovými fotografiemi letců, plakáty, artefakty leteckého příslušenství, skleněné vitríny pak obsahují řadu jejich osobních věcí, z nichž každá má svůj příběh, propojený s některou ze čtyř československých perutí RAF.

As soon as you enter the Air Cafe, while deceptive in size, you are immediately hit by the abundance of memorabilia from that period all around you; from the eye-catching Czech Air Force emblem, RAF period posters, photographs, documents, badges, display cabinets and aircraft artifacts.

Jakmile do kavárny Air Café vstoupíte, přes její zdánlivě rozlehlý prostor Vás okamžitě upoutá množství artefaktů z prostředí té doby všude kolem vás; počínaje podmanivým symbolem znaku čsl. letectva, dobových plakátů RAF, fotografií, dokumentů, odznaků, obsahu vitrín, včetně celé řady artefaktů leteckého příslušenství.

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Numerous mannequins are within this display, ranging from the sweater worn by F/Sgt Otmar Kučera DFC’s during the Battle of Britain to the apparel worn by Josef Šnajdr when he was in France in 1940 with l’Arme d’Air, the RAF sunglasses and Irwin suit worn by Bohumil Holeš, a dinghy from 311 Sqn Air Gunner F/Sgt František Zabloudil, sunglasses bought in Casablanca by LF/Lt adislav Zadrobílek on his escape to England in 1940, the battle-dress and flying boots worn by F/Lt Jindřich Skitka, RAF Emergency ration kits, navigation equipment from 311 Sqn navigator F/Lt Miroslav Laštovka. Aircraft machine-guns, propellers, RAF kit bags are in abundance amongst the items displayed.

Během návštěvy narazíte na řadu figurín, které jsou v dobových převlecích, podobně jako do puloveru oblečený F/Sgt Otmar Kučera, nositel britského vyznamenání “Záslužný letecký kříž” v bitvě o Británii až po oblečení, které nosil Josef Šnajdr, když byl ve Francii v roce 1940 u l’Arme d’Air, sluneční brýle RAF a oblek Bohumila Holeše od společnosti Irwin, záchranný člun od 311. perutě střelce F/ Sgt Františka Zabloudila, sluneční brýle zakoupené v Casablance LF/Lt Ladislava Zadrobílka při jeho útěku z vlasti do Anglie v roce 1940, bojová uniforma a boty, které nosil F/Lt Jindřich Skitka, souprava RAF pro použití v případě nouze, navigační zařízení, používané navigátorem S/F Miroslavem Laštovkou u 311. perutě. Na co si vzpomenete – letecký kulomet, vrtule, opravárenské soupravy RAF, a spoustu dalších, zajímavých detailů té válečné doby.

Many of the exhibits have very personal stories to the airmen concerned, from the radio used by 311 Sqn Air Gunner F/Sgt František Zabloudil which was also used in the Czech film ‘Nebeští jezdci’, a parachute buckle from F/Lt František Trejtnar which he used to when he was forced to bail-out of his aircraft following an unsuccessful combat with a Fw190, to the uniform of F/Sgt Václav Chocenský, 312 Sqn pilot. He used to be a regular at the Cafe and the day after, on his passing, his uniform was given to the owners by his wife. She said, she insisted, that the uniform be there so that Chocenský can still be in a place where he liked to spend his late afternoons.

Řada exponátů se váže k letcům jejich osobními příběhy – rozhlasem použitého záznamu střelce F/Sgt Františka Zabloudila, od 311. bombardovací perutě, který byl také použit v českém filmu “Nebeští jezdci”, padáková spona F/Lt Františka Trejtnara, kterou musel použít po neúspěšném boji s Fw190 při výsadku ze svého letounu, uniforma F/Sgt Václava Chocenského, pilota 312 . perutě. Před lety býval pravidelným návštěvníkem kavárny a poté, kdy mu to smrt znemožnila, postarala se jeho manželka, aby byl přítomen alespoň prostřednictvím své u válečné uniformy. Paní Chocenská tehdy prohlásila, že trvá na tom, aby alespoň uniforma jejího manžela byla přítomna místům, kde její muž tak rád trávil svá mnohá odpoledne.

On the catering side, the house specialty of the Air Cafe is rum, with an extensive selection from around the world, now numbering around 350 different varieties. This is the Czech Republic so naturally, beers and wines, as well as specialty cocktails, are available. Great coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks are available as well as a variety of desserts. In nice weather, you can also sit outside in the courtyard viewing onto Petrov Cathedral.

Nápojový lístek informuje návštěvníka Air Cafe o nabídce celé řady rumů s rozsáhlým výběrem z celého světa, který v současné době představuje zhruba 350 různých druhů. Pro Českou republiku typická skladba – pivo, víno, špirittus. V nabídce samozřejmě najdete všechny druhy kávy, nealkoholické nápoje, různé dezerty. Za slunečného počasí můžete posedět venku na nádvoří s výhledem na katedrálu Petrov.

The ambience of Air Café inevitably gives a new visitor the thought of “Am I just having a drink in a museum?”

Prostředí Air Café nevyhnutelně vybízí nového návštěvníka k myšlence: “Jsem tu jen pití v muzeu?”

The Air Café is located in the Moravské zemské muzeum building at Zelný trh, in the center of Brno, just a 3 mins walk from náměstí Svobody, the main square, and 5 mins from the main railway station.

Kavárnu Air Café najdete v budově Moravského zemského muzea na Zelném trhu v samém centru Brna, jen 3 minuty chůze od náměstí Svobody a 5 minut od budovy hlavního nádraží.




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Information, Museum | 1 Comment

Jan Hadravek remembered


On 26 May 2018, a ceremony was held at Horní Bukovsko to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jan Hadrávek, who was from that village.

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He was a pilot with 111 OTU and was killed in a flying accident, just after take-off, from Nassau, Bahamas, on a flight training night patrol on 7 August 1943.

HIs grave at CWGC Nassau, Bahamas.


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Karel Pavlik lectern Ypres


On 6 May 2018, a lectern was donated to St George’s Memorial Church in Ypres, Belgium, with a commemorative plaque dedicated to RAF Sgt Karel Pavlík. St George’s Memorial Church is dedicated to the memory of British ( Imperial) warriors killed in action mainly in WW I and WW II.

6. května 2018 byl britskému vojenskému kostelu Sv Jiří v Yprech v Belgii darován čtecí pultík s pamětní destičkou věnovanou RAF Sgt Karlu Pavlíkovi. Kostel Sv Jiřív Yprech byl postaven na počest britských ( imperialních) bojovníků, kteří padli v boji převážně v 1. a 2. světové válce.

Sgt Karel Pavlík

Sgt Karel Pavlík flew with 313 (Czechoslovak) SQN. He was shot down and KIA near Ypres during the ill-fated RAF Operation Circus 157 on 5 May 1942 and is buried in CWGC Ypres Town Extension cemetery in Ypres.

Sgt Karel Pavlík létal s 313. (CZ) perutí. Byl sestřelen a zemřel nedaleko Yper během tragické RAF Operace Circus 157 5.5.1942 a je pohřben na Ypres Town Extension hřbitove CWGC.

The lectern was blessed by Revd Gillian Trinder, Chaplain of St George’s Memorial Church during special Sunday morning Service. The lectern with the plaque is a remembrance gift of Chris Lock and his wife Milena Kolarikova, who also placed a wreath at the RAF commemorative plaque in the Church and sang the Czech national anthem on conclusion of the ceremony.

Čtecí pultík požehnala vikářa kostela Sv Jiří Gillian Trinderova během nedělní specialní bohoslužby. Čtecí pultík s pamětní destičkou byly kostelu darovány Chrisem Lockem a jeho ženou Milenou Kolaříkovou, která také položila věnec k desce věnované padlým letcům RAF a která tuto ceremonii zakončila zpevěm české hymny.

Rest in Peace

Cest jeho pamatce!




Posted in 313 Sqd, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment

Police – 23.6.2018.







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Jan Hadravek – 26.5.2018.







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Anton Vanko – Memorial Plaque unveiled



Pamätný deň Antona Vanka / Lednické Rovne / 7. Máj 2018

Pri príležitosti nedožitých 100. narodenín vojnového hrdinu a pilota RAF Antona Vanka, ako aj v predvečer oslavy víťazstva and fašizmom, si obyvatelia obce Lednické Rovne, členovia rodiny a zástupcovia mnohých organizácií a spolkov, spoločne pripomenuli Antonov životný príbeh. Zároveň bol Antonovi, rodákovi z Lednických Rovní, odhalený priamo v strede obce pamätník a pamätná doska.

Slávnostného aktu odhalenia pamätníka sa zúčastnili, okrem iných, aj štátny tajomník ministerstva obrany Marian Saloň, poslanec národnej rady SR a predseda Trenčianskeho samosprávneho kraja Jaroslav Baška, europoslankyňa Monika Beňová, mimoriadny a splnomocnený veľvyslanec Spojeného kráľovstva a Severného Írska Andrew Garth v sprievode vojenského pridelenca a bývalého pilota RAF plukovníka Michael Longstaff, ako aj mnohí ďalší hostia.

Priebeh slávnosti vhodne dopĺňala Čestná stráž ministerstva obrany SR a skupina Funny Fellows, ktorá v dobových uniformách hrala sklady, ktoré počúvali piloti RAF cez druhú svetovú vojnu.

Počas druhej časti slávnosti, ktorá sa uskutočnila v príjemných priestoroch Hunty Fish, sa všetci zúčastní zoznámili so životom Antona Vanka, a to aj za účasti modelu lietadla Spitfire, ktorý zabezpečil Spitfire Club CZ.

Pamätník Antona Vanka bude pripomínať všetkým občanom obce Lednické Rovne, ale aj prechádzajúcim turistom, že 70 rokov slobody tu nemáme zadarmo a že ju vybojovali ľudia, na ktorých nesmieme zabudnúť. Anton bol jedným z nich.

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Anton Vanko Memorial Day / Lednicke Rovne, Slovakia / 7 May 2018

On the occasion of the 100th birthday of war hero and RAF pilot Anton Vanko, as well as the day before fascism victory memory day, residents of the village of Lednické Rovne, Vanko family members and numerous organisations and associations representatives, together commemorated the story of Anton´s life. During the event a memorial and plaque was unveiled in the village centre for Anton, who was born in Lednické Rovne.

The Memorial unveiling ceremony was attended by, among others, Marian Saloň the Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Defence, Jaroslav Baška member of National Parliament of the Slovak Republic and Chairman of Trencín region, Monika Beňová member of the European Parliament, HE Andrew Garth UK Ambassador for Slovakia who was accompanied by UK Defence Attaché and former RAF pilot – Group Captain Michael Longstaff, as well as many other guests.

The ceremonial event was appropriately complemented by a Guard of Honour from the Slovak Ministry of Defence Guard, as well as music band Funny Fellows, who played – dressed in period costumes – music listened by RAF airmen during WW2.

During the second part of the ceremony, which took place in the Hunty Fish premises, event attendees received information about Anton Vanko life, and also included the presence of a Spitfire aircraft replica, which was displayed by the Czech Spitfire Club.

The monument to Anton Vanko will remind not only all citizens of Lednické Rovne village, but also passing tourists, that we haven’t had 70 years of freedom free of charge and that it is due to people, to whom we must not forget. Anton was one of them.

Posted in 312 Sqd, Anniversary, Ceremony, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment

Plzen – Memorial Plaque unveiled, 6.5.18.



On Sunday 6 May 2018, a Memorial plaque was unveiled at Plzeň 3 in rememberence of the Czechoslovak RAF airmen from that District.

Oldřich HOŘEJŠÍ

311 Sqn pilot

Stanislav PEROUTKA

310 Sqn pilot

Miloslav PETR

310 Sqn pilot

† 29.01.43.

Karel POŠTA

312 Sqn pilot

Jiří SCHWARZ

56 OTU pilot

† 22.09.41.

Vilém SOUKUP

311 Sqn pilot

† 15.09.41.

Jindřich ZÁŘECKÝ

310 Sqn pilot

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Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, Events, Memorial, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment